Former French champion Boudot to ride in Hong Kong for two months
Pierre-Charles Boudot, whose European Flat record of 301 winners in a calendar year lasted just 12 months, will not bid to wrestle that honour back off Christophe Soumillon, with the dual French champion jockey instead having embarked on a two-month stint in Hong Kong.
Boudot, who tied Soumillon for the French title in 2015 and then won it outright in 2016 with a record 301 winners – eclipsed last season by Soumillon's 306 – began his short-term contract on New Year's Day with two thirds from four rides and will ride in Hong Kong until February 25.
Boudot, 25, has opted to ride in Hong Kong in a bid to further improve himself as a jockey rather than attempt to reclaim the record.
He said: "Records are made to be broken, and I will always be the first to have achieved the 300 wins.
"You always want what you haven’t got and for Christophe, that was the 300 wins and the record. He already had plenty of experience abroad and had been here in Hong Kong. For me, I want the experience of riding in new places.
"Maybe in a few years I can try again, but the target at the moment is to do as well as I can here. As an international experience, I think Hong Kong is the best I can do. I've already ridden for a couple of months in Japan in the past, but Hong Kong to me is the ultimate challenge."
Boudot, who won the final leg of the Longines International Jockeys Championship at Happy Valley last month, added: "I was very proud to represent France in what I consider to be the world’s best jockey championship. Of course, knowing that I was going to be riding here in January and February, my wish was to ride one winner and I achieved that target. It was a very important win for me.
"My first day at Sha Tin went well, the two horses I placed on ran nicely and hopefully it's the start of a good period."
He continued: "It’s already a success for me, just to be invited to Hong Kong. I 'm very grateful for the opportunity. I know it's going to be a very good experience, just like it was in Japan.
"Of course, I will try to be as successful as possible, but I want to enjoy this time and hope to make the trainers and owners as happy as I can with my riding. I only wish I could be here for longer."
Andrew Harding, the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s executive director, racing authority, said: “Pierre-Charles Boudot truly is one of the remarkable talents of his generation, which he has already shown with his feats – he's achieved so much and he's only 25. He'll be a great addition to the roster over the next two months and we all look forward to watching him ride.”
Boudot currently has three rides for the next Hong Kong meeting at Sha Tin on Sunday.
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